Mattress Direct culls a variety of mattresses in textures ranging from firm to plush from brands such as Tempur-Pedic and Serta. Serta's iComfort, for example, evenly distributes support across the body with microsupport gel capsules nestled in its memory foam; a specialized material prevents overheating and the resulting unpleasant lava-chase nightmares. Mattress Direct's stock of bed frames, bed linens, and pillows allow patrons to assemble complete bedroom sets in one trip, and an express delivery service prevents the hassle of renting a moving truck or outfitting each leg of a new bed with a rollerblade.
Native Louisianan Kelly Colleen crafts her original stylish stretch rings by creating a flexible, versatile sterling-silver band designed to fit sizes 5–9. Then Kelly encrusts the band with lead-free Swarovski crystals and strings on a choice of stones, pendants, and pearls. Splash some color on the crystal centerpiece with palettes packed with hues such as purple velvet, dusty rose, and smoky topaz, carefully harvested from the caves of park-ranger bears. Or deck out your digits with a Swarovski pearl, which attains the same weight, size, and shape as real pearls without requiring a closet full of scuba gear. To ensure that hands twinkle with confidence, Kelly secures each of her creations with a warranty spanning the lifetime of the ring.
In 1910, Harry Offner opened his first hardware shop on South Rampart Street in downtown New Orleans, setting the foundation for a local network of three retail stores with more than 27,000 items in stock and 90,000 more available through catalogs or the Ace Hardware website. Like a treasured heirloom or the gene for double-jointed elbows, the business has passed through three generations as Harry's grandkids currently mind the store to help homeowners and handy folks find cleaning and painting supplies, lawn-care implements, housewares, and tools from well-known brands. The knowledgeable staff also assists shoppers with a variety of services, from cutting keys and threading pipes to minor household repair jobs performed by licensed and insured handymen.
Catherine and Scott McKearn leave no corner of the world unsearched in their quest to discover artisan furniture builders. The couple frequents faraway destinations in India, Indonesia, China, and Morocco to unearth beautiful solid-wood furniture to import directly to their three shops. In order to save their customers money, they buy pieces wholesale and ship them in 40-foot containers, bypassing both middlemen and price-gun-wielding pirates. Their furniture ranges in style from industrial to French country, and the eclectic selection rotates every few weeks to accommodate new shipments.
Nadeau characterizes its furniture as "with a soul" because it's true artisan work: handcrafted from wood rather than mass-produced from gasket pylons. Showcase fine china and live gerbils in a double-domed glass-door cabinet ($284), or in a hefty, finely trimmed kitchen hutch ($410). Or, display a new moving picture box on a delicately polished TV stand/buffet ($500). Small console tables ($160) and storage chests ($224) come in a myriad of stains and colors, and many pieces are one-of-a-kind. Nadeau's ever-changing inventory includes a variety of sturdy dining room tables ($435–$548) and chairs ($80 each). Prices and selection may vary due to rotating inventory, but pieces are always fully assembled and ready to welcome any tuckered torso or mound of toothbrushes.
Every Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hotel Furniture Liquidators opens its 6,500 square feet of labyrinthine warehouse space to the public so that you can treasure hunt through stacks of slightly preowned furniture. Keep fillet of snowman from going bad with a refrigerator and icemaker ($150) topped handsomely with a $15 lamp, or give relatives a floor-free slumber option by stocking a sturdy sleeper couch ($165). Bibliophiles can find the ruminating womb they long for in an upholstered chair and ottoman ($60), and washer/dryer combos go for $245 as long as customers agree not to bring about nuclear catastrophe by separating the two. Peaceful standing armies of credenzas, desks, end tables, start tables, and banquet linen add a cozy touch to any room. To get the jump on other buyers, scan some of Hotel Furniture Liquidators' current liquidation inventory beforehand.